When restaurant managers decide to purchase cakes and other dessert items wholesale rather than make them in-house, the result must be profitable to make the venture worthwhile. Wholesale cakes could be sold by the slice or by the round without any prep time or without the need to hire employees to bake them. A winning markup strategy allows customers to have an enjoyable dessert experience while the restaurant profits without having to add payroll.

Calculating a Base Price

A ballpark markup estimate of roughly one-third should be used as a guideline when pricing wholesale cakes. To get this number, divide the wholesale price you pay for each cake by the number of slices (usually eight) to get the wholesale price per slice. Divide this number by 33 percent to get the standard markup amount and add it back. Use the calculated price as a base number to create a sliding scale either up or down for your restaurant.

Pricing Factors to Consider

The current pricing structure your restaurant utilizes should influence final price for cakes both by the slice and the round. If you create elegant presentations using sauces, garnishes, or edible flowers, this can drive the markup higher by creating an image of luxury that may justify the added cost to customers. Consider what your largest competitors charge for cakes in their restaurants and match or undercut their prices without insulting your own branding.

Slice Pricing Strategies

Consider altering your standard markup price on slices of cake based on trends or promotions within your restaurants. If you offer a three course meal option, add a lower price for a slice of cake as your dessert course into the overall meal price knowing you are making a high markup on all the components as a whole. If your restaurant serves half-portions of dessert, cut cake slices in half on a per-order basis and charge two thirds the normal price to enjoy a higher markup. An added scoop of ice cream also could create a higher profit margin.

Whole Cake Pricing Strategies

Restaurants typically charge 10 to 15 percent less for a whole cake to-go than they would if they sold each slice separately. If your restaurant decorates cakes to-go or serves decorated cakes in house for birthdays and other occasions, it is acceptable to charge the slice price or more and enjoy a larger markup. Customers who order a half cake to go should be charged at the slice price.